Texas Tech University Goin' Band From Raiderland - History


The Goin' Band from Raiderland, originally known as The Matador Band, is as old as Texas Tech itself. Under the direction of W. Waghorne, it performed at the opening football game in October 1925, fielding between 21 and 25 members.

In 1926, Harry Lemaire was appointed director of the marching band. Following his service in the British Army, Lemaire had been bandmaster under Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War and was a friend and colleague of John Philip Sousa. Under his leadership, the band earned its name when it became the first college band to travel to an away game. Also during Lemaire's tenure, the band became the first one to have its half-time show broadcast over the radio.

American humorist Will Rogers once aided in financing a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, so the band could perform at a game against the TCU Horned Frogs, becoming the first band to travel to an away game. He also helped purchase new uniforms.

In 1934, Dewey O. "Prof" Wiley became director and expanded the band from sixty members to more than two hundred over the next few years.

In 1938 Texas Tech became the first university in Texas to house a chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. Kappa Kappa Psi's "sister" organization, Tau Beta Sigma, originated at Texas Tech in 1937. However, due to legal complications, the sorority could not apply for a national charter. The Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Sigma was given to the band club at Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State University), with Texas Tech accepting the Beta chapter.

Dean Killion came to the Goin' Band in 1959. As his predecessor had done, Killion generated another expansion, this time doubling the ranks to over four hundred members.

To ensure that an individual listener would hear the same quality performance no matter where they sat in the stadium, Killion arranged shows so that equal instrumentation was always on both sides of the 50-yard line, and that the band played more or less equally to both halves of the stadium.

In 1981, Keith Bearden became the first Texas Tech alumnus to become director of the Goin' Band. He continued the style and traditions of previous directors as well as leading the band to the prestigious Sudler Trophy in 1999. Bearden also opened new venues for the Goin' Band, such as when the band traveled to Ireland in 1998 to take part in Saint Patrick's Day parades in both Dublin and Limerick.

The Goin' Band also recently received another honor when one of its members, Armen Williams, became the first homecoming king representing the Goin' Band and Kappa Kappa Psi in the fall of 2004.

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